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Insight - Making Sense of the Narrative


FX markets always have a narrative. Right now the obvious one is that strength of the $ can be attributed to a simple relative interest rates model, so it’s all about the Fed. But they may also be telling us that the spike in prices is less worrying for markets than the spike in volatility which is forcing deleveraging across fixed income and alternatives – and thus the bid for $ may reflect distress.

The return to Hong Kong has finally arrived, after the HK authorities dropped their ridiculous three week wash-out plus three week hotel quarantine requirements, that had made a ‘desk to desk’ transition period of six weeks.

At 1.03trillion cubic metres (tcm), Ukraine has the second largest gas reserves in Europe after Norway, and yet it is a net importer of gas, since it only produces 20bcm a year while consuming nearer 27bcm, leaving it with an import bill of tens of billions a year.

Ronald Reagan once said that the scariest words in the English language were ‘I’m from the government and I am here to help” and in our view there is no doubt that there is little that is more dangerous than a bureaucrat with a mission

April marks the start of the second quarter as well as the start of the new financial year for many and while the Ukraine crisis has thrown up new challenges – not least in eating as well as heating – most of the issues we now face were already underway and have just been accelerated by the events and the responses to them.